Of Glass and Ashes is the third in the Twisted Pages series and the first time we meet Aika, the sister of Zaina from Of Thorns and Beauty and Of Beasts and Vengeance.
Despite being a Cinderella retelling, Aika is a fiesty, unpredictable protagonist. Whereas Zaina kept her walls built high and analysed every move she made, her sister fights hard to compartmentalise her emotions and, every so often, her control slips: Aika is literally the fire to Zaina’s ice.
Thankfully we do not lose Zaina and Einar just yet as they still have a couple of POV chapters in order to continue their mission. I loved the little insights into their dynamic and how this has progressed since we left them in Of Beasts and Vengeance.
Aika is wholeheartedly the star of the show though. Fiery and morally grey, Aika is used to acting upon her Mother’s orders and adopting different identities. However, when grief causes her to act with her heart rather than her head, events are put into motion that put our gutsy heroine in the worst danger of her life.
As with all of Madame’s daughters, Aika is a tortured soul and the reader gains glimpses of her previous life and how she came to be with Madame. Maybe this is why we forgive Aika’s questionable actions: we can clearly see the effect that her upbringing has had on her priorities and the trauma that she feels when she can’t save someone is palpable.
The beauty of Elle and Robin is that they never fail to provide an amazing love interest for their main characters. Spiky, closed off Zaina had an enemies to lovers relationship with the muscly giant Einar and spirited Aika introduces the reader to her ex-lover Remy. Remy is a confident, sarcastic member of the Guard and he sure keeps Aika on her toes but is it only Aika keeping secrets or does Remy also have something to hide?
Suspenseful, secretive and with some seriously deadly glass slippers, Of Glass and Ashes is a page turner which I devoured in less than 24 hours. I can’t wait for March 2022 to see what lies in store for Aika and Zaina in the next installment, Of Thieves and Shadows.